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Helix/G50 Relay observation - Cross posted from wireless section....


themetallikid
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I posted the below in the Relay Wireless section, however there are Helix questions here too that I thought others may benefit from.

 

Hey All....question, last night I was making some final tweaks on my Helix and I got to a preset where I use the acoustic sim, and my tone was 180 degrees different than how I dialed it in, and what I heard at practice 2 days prior.  This really stumped me for a bit.  I then started A/B'ing with the cable that I use when I set up my presets (I was practicing my set, so I was using my wireless this time) and as soon as I plugged my cable in, BAM, there was my acoustic tone that I dialed in.  

 

Now the weird thing was that this was 13 songs into my set, and I hadn't noticed any difference really in tone.  SOOOO.....questions.

 

1) Is the acoustic sim in the helix that high frequency driven that the cable tone would have such a dramatic affect on this sound but not any of my other tones?   I even tried the A/B comparison on a preset that uses a clean tone and hardly noticed a difference.  The difference was pretty staggering on the acoustic sound.  As a rough estimate, the cable'd version gave me a nice clear acoustic top end, where as the Relay'd (cable tone) version sounded like it was coming through a wall or a blanket, almost like the highs were rolled off down to 400hz.  

 

2) I noticed I did have the Cable Tone set to the max setting...not sure why I would have done that, unless it got bumped/moved at some point on my board and I never noticed.  However, once I dialed it to '0' my actual cable tone was back.  I then settled on about 11:00 on the dial, just short of halfway.  Seemed to sorta taper the highs in a pleasant way, but not put a wet blanket on the high end at  all.  Is there any sort of chart that shows what the different settings on the cable tone do?  Anyone have a fancy gadget that could graph that?  I'd be curious to see.

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I have a Shure Wireless, but I have a list of things that can go wrong. 

 

1) check the wireless transmitter cable.  I have had that go bad where it works fine for most sounds, but on acoustic it sounds like garbage.  The cable failed but was still working-ish, exactly like you described.  So try changing every single cable in your chain: guitar->wireless; receiver->Helix. 

2) check the gain of the the wireless -- if it's too gainy/not gainy enough, it can change your sound.  Line 6 wireless have cable simulations "Cable Tone", where it muffles the sound as if you are running a 100-ft lead cable.  Play with different cable simulation settings to see if the sound changes. 

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On 11/23/2022 at 1:34 PM, theElevators said:

I have a Shure Wireless, but I have a list of things that can go wrong. 

 

1) check the wireless transmitter cable.  I have had that go bad where it works fine for most sounds, but on acoustic it sounds like garbage.  The cable failed but was still working-ish, exactly like you described.  So try changing every single cable in your chain: guitar->wireless; receiver->Helix. 

2) check the gain of the the wireless -- if it's too gainy/not gainy enough, it can change your sound.  Line 6 wireless have cable simulations "Cable Tone", where it muffles the sound as if you are running a 100-ft lead cable.  Play with different cable simulation settings to see if the sound changes. 

Oh yes, I apologize, I figured out it was the cable tone, but I was curious why it affected my acoustic snapshot/sound so dramatically compared to electric type sounds.    And has anyone ever graphed how the different settings attenuate the high end?

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On 11/23/2022 at 3:29 PM, themetallikid said:

Oh yes, I apologize, I figured out it was the cable tone, but I was curious why it affected my acoustic snapshot/sound so dramatically compared to electric type sounds.    And has anyone ever graphed how the different settings attenuate the high end?

acoustic simulator is extremely sensitive...   It's just how it is.  I wish it weren't as sensitive.  I spent a LOONG time dialing in my tone, and if I switch to an almost-identical guitar, it will sound horrible. 

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On 11/23/2022 at 3:29 PM, themetallikid said:

Oh yes, I apologize, I figured out it was the cable tone, but I was curious why it affected my acoustic snapshot/sound so dramatically compared to electric type sounds.    And has anyone ever graphed how the different settings attenuate the high end?

 

Pretty good article on the impact of cable length on tone below.

 

It would be interesting, strictly from an inquiring mind would like to know perspective, as you requested, to see some graphs as to what impact different simulated cable lengths has on various instruments. I think the rule of thumb is though, the higher the setting, the more muted the highs and high-mids get, and I suppose, depending on how the 'Cable Tone (length)' emulation is implemented, other parts or the whole of the frequency spectrum. Long cable lengths in the physical world can also attenuate the signal's strength in addition to altering the frequency range. I suppose that could also be being emulated by the 'Cable Tone' setting.

 

So, the cable length can essentially attenuate the signal and change the frequency range being transmitted as more capacitance is introduced. You can see where, depending on the signal strength and content of the source (e.g. acoustic vs. electric), your tone could be impacted quite differently by the digitally emulated setting (or in the physical world by the cable length).

 

This would lead one to believe that always leaving the 'Cable Tone' setting set to minimum/shortest would be the way to go as this would provide the maximum, cleanest signal. However, if for example, you want a quick and easy way to diminish the brightness of your tone, you might opt for a higher 'Cable Tone' setting. Similar to the way some players find that they prefer not only a certain range of length, but also a certain brand of cable because of the tone they get from it. Probably due to different materials, jacks, shielding, etc..  Not that the cable is necessarily inherently better quality, just that they prefer its tone.

 

https://gearaficionado.com/blog/does-guitar-cable-length-affect-your-tone/

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On 11/23/2022 at 10:25 AM, themetallikid said:

Relay'd (cable tone) version sounded like it was coming through a wall or a blanket, almost like the highs were rolled off down to 400hz.  

 

On 11/23/2022 at 10:25 AM, themetallikid said:

I noticed I did have the Cable Tone set to the max setting...not sure why I would have done that, unless it got bumped/moved at some point on my board and I never noticed.  However, once I dialed it to '0' my actual cable tone was back.  I then settled on about 11:00 on the dial, just short of halfway.

 

As you know, you answered your own question... 

 

There are numbers on that "cable tone" setting you can use as reference. At the highest setting you were simulating a 100' cable, at 11:00 (where you are now) it's a 20' cable - which makes more sense.  FWIW, I keep my cable tone at 15'... I don't like it off because I'm used to 40+ years of using a cable. 15' sounds natural "for my use" 

 

As for noticing it most on the AC Sim... that's because the AC Sim relies on top end. If you've taken all the high end away the problem would be very pronounced. On normal guitar parts, it would just sound softer / less bright - but an AC Sim would be completely lifeless. 

 

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